A new education program implemented by Kamloops Fire Rescue last fall revealed that seven per cent of homes visited did not have a functioning smoke alarms.
“The irony is that it’s such a simple procedure,” KFR Chief Mike Adams told KTW. “We’d really like to remind everybody at minimum is a smoke alarm at each level in your home. It’s a low-cost item,” he said.
“They do have a life expectancy of 10 years and we encourage everyone to install one, test one annually. Smoke alarms save lives.”
Like any other piece of equipment, Adams said smoke alarms need to be checked to make sure they’re functioning. Smoke detectors do have low-battery alarms, though the nuisance of the beeping can sometimes lead to problems.
“Often, people being what we do, because it’s a nuisance we just remove the battery and, therefore, the smoke alarms is inoperable,” Adams said.
KFR will began another wave of public education this week, this time targeting private property close to interface zones. That program, which is a partnership with the city’s parks department, will target 400 homes in Heffley Creek, Westsyde and Pineview Valley.
Residents will be given fire assessments of their property and the opportunity to have debris chipped by parks staff. Adams hopes the two pilot projects will become part of an annual program.
“Really, at the end of the day, we’re public-safety professionals,” he said. “We’ve always been really response-focused and we want to be proactive. The best accident or emergent event is the one that doesn’t occur.”